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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31787
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My Stepson wants to join the armed forces. He was initially

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My Stepson wants to join the armed forces. He was initially seeing a recruiter from the Marines. He has a felony on the books that was downgraded to a misdemeanor. and then ultimately dismissed by the judge on the case so he could enter the military, by request of the Marine Recruiter. Since then, he has been talking to the Army recruiter about joining. He took the ASVAB and passed. Then they started looking at his record. Per the Army recruiter, after considering his charges, he is not a candidate for any branch of the military - based solely on the charges, not the outcome of the legal case. Is this correct? Seems to me that if they are going to take the charges of our legal systems' charges, they should also take into consideration the final disposition of that same court systems' findings on the cases. Please give me your thoughts - I'd like to fight this.

The military has the discretion to accept or decline a person based on a criminal history, even if that history has been dismissed or expunged. As you've found out an expungement does not totally erase a person's criminal record. It erases it to all persons and entities except for the federal government and its branches. Therefore, it will always be on his file in those circles.


He really cannot do anything about this, other than to enlist with a branch of the armed services that will accept him.

Roger and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Then why would the military request from him to do this if it didn't matter anyway?
It usually deals with the person's right to leave the state if probation or parole is in effect. The court's release or dismissal of the case allows the person to enter the military without any pending criminal charges or sentences. Without this waiver, the person couldn't enlist.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
My stepson had no probation or parole. So are you telling me that any branch can still accept him if they so choose?
Yes, any branch can accept him at their discretion.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your help!
You're welcome and good luck.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I think my next step is to go back to the recruiter to see if there is anything we can do to get my stepson accepted - and then try another branch...until we've exhausted them all. The whole thing is very frustrating and exasperating when you're told one thing and then another - as if no one knows what's going on - We can't get a straight answer. IS there anything we can use as leverage?
I'm not aware of any "leverage". You should just demand a justifiable answer from any of them.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
And what would you consider "justifiable" in your opinion?
If they have a policy of no tolerance for anyone that has a criminal record, or if they believe that the military will not be a good fit. It could be any reason, just so long as the reason is reasonable with an objective standard.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
OK - again, thanks for your help!

No problem.